09 November 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Microsoft recovers counterfeit selling domains

Microsoft has recovered seven infringing domains that were being used in a scheme involving fake Microsoft licences.

In a Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy dispute at the Alternative Dispute Resolution forum, Microsoft alleged that the seven domains, which all included some form of the Microsoft trademark with generic terms, such as “download” and “licence”, were controlled by the same person operating under several aliases.

Microsoft also claimed that the domains were being used to host email addresses that would contact customers, advising them to log on to the Microsoft Volume Licensing Center to obtain a licence.

The email links would take users to the infringing domains, which would claim to offer counterfeit licence services. One site redirects users to a site containing malware.

Microsoft explained that these actions were evidence of bad faith, as the owner of the infringing domains was attempting to confuse users as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of the domains.

Sole panellist Kenneth Port agreed, stating that the domains passing themselves off in an attempt to sell counterfeit products or services, and that their subsequent redirecting of users to sites containing malicious software constitutes bad faith.

Port found that the site was prominently displaying the well-known Microsoft trademark in connection to the counterfeit licensing service it offers.

These findings also constitute bad faith and, as a result, Port transferred all seven infringing domains back to Microsoft.

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